As I step into the InQbet campus, I am once again struck by how luminous it is. The interior is flooded in natural light, giving it a vibrant and open feeling. I don’t mean to wax lyrical, but in many ways, the building seems to reflect what’s going on inside of it.
With the spiraling staircase at its heart, and it’s curving corridors that extend in both directions, there are many nooks and crannies where one can meet up and work together. It is a space designed for collaboration and innovation.
And while the campus’ activities have largely moved online due to the pandemic, it certainly hasn’t stopped the InQbet ecosystem members from working together.
Tech Pitch Two: The Power of Pilots
In fact, the reason for my exceptional visit to P&G’s InQbet campus was to attend a special edition of their tech pitches. Due to the building’s size (and careful planning), tech pitches are held as hybrid physical-virtual events. That is to say, representatives/presenters from the startups and scale-ups come into campus and present, while the audience of P&Gers and other ecosystem members tune in remotely to watch the tech pitch live.
The reason that this was a special kind of tech pitch, is because the three startups that participated, namely Affective Markets, Hashting, and ML6, are already working with P&G. This might seem bizarre. If they’ve already done pilot projects together, why are they then pitching?
The answer is twofold: First, P&G has many departments. Startups and scale-ups do pilots with a specific department, and once successful, other departments take a look at the relevant projects, and if piqued, might also decide on working with the startups/scale-ups. Second, P&Gers all get to tune in to this exclusive hybrid physical/virtual event, and simply be inspired by what can be done when working with startups and scale-ups in the InQbet ecosystem.
Here then, a little more on what the three startups/scale-ups presented on:
Affective Markets took the stage first. Joining us virtually from Israel, Dan Gang explained how Affective Markets goes about determining how people feel about certain products or ideas, down to the minutest of details. The aim is to discover how people feel about concepts/products/elements in relation to each other; but also how different socio-cultural demographic groups feel about that which is being tested. The process is extremely fast and specific. The bonus is that if you have a grasp on a person or a demographic’s tastes, you can predict - to a large extent - their taste in other areas.
Next, Hashting’s founder Karl de Beul explained what makes Hashting’s mobile marketing software and coupon clearing platform so revolutionary. Have you ever sent out e-coupons or e-vouchers, just to wonder whether your customer has received it or made use of it? Hashting addresses exactly this problem. Through their software and platform, you get fast and crystal clear feedback: you can see how your customer reacts to the coupons/promotions, and whether they’ve used it; all in a cyber-safe, non-intrusive (towards your customer), friction-free manner.
Finally ML6’s Frederic Stallaert and Stan Callewaert showed us what ML6 can do. As a tech company specializing in artificial intelligence (AI) services, ML6 is always on the lookout for creative ways in which state-of-the-art AI can make a practical difference in their customers’ businesses. It doesn’t matter the industry, ML6 does it all. In fact, it is their involvement in different fields or areas of interest that partly accounts for their out-of-the-box thinking and success (ML6 is among the Top 50 fastest growing tech companies in Belgium, according to Deloitte).
The kernel of the InQbet campus:
Pollination is an apt image for innovation. In fact, it lies close to the philosophy of Workero’s Corporate Accelerator programme: At Workero, we believe that the most successful companies and professionals of the future will be those that are connected and that are willing to innovate with others. Our program is based on the concept of a garden or an ecosystem. It is the interactions, and relationships built between the ecosystem members, that keeps the whole ecosystem healthy and creates an environment where long-term innovation thrives.
The InQbet Accelerator specifically has the aim of increasing the success of SMEs in marketing innovative products and business models. This project marks the establishment of the first virtual and physical accelerator serving the broad consumer goods sector.
The InQbet Accelerator invests in pilot infrastructure to allow SMEs to innovate in a market-oriented way with the triple-helix partners. The aim of this infrastructure is to gather knowledge about consumer-driven marketing based on lean principles. The Accelerator includes pilot infrastructure for prototypes and small-product series. It will be integrated with the recent investment in the P&G Consumer Lounge for consumer research, which will also be accessible to SMEs and startups. This enables the demonstration of innovative consumer products. In this way, products can be marketed faster, at a lower cost and with a higher chance of success in the region, so that the R&D efforts are better valorised.
This project was supported by the European Fund for Regional Development (EFRO).
If you want to create or become part of a Workero-facilitated ecosystem, start here.
For more information on joining the the ecosystem as a startup or scale-up, or to open up your own virtual and or physical garden/ecosystem, contact us at email@example.com.